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Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the letter of 20 May 2005 from the hon. Member for Sunderland, South and the response from her predecessor of 7 June 2005, what conclusions have been reached by the Local Community Centre Task Force on the future viability of projects whose single regeneration budget funding is coming to an end; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many departmental security passes were issued by her Department in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department for Communities and Local Government was formed on 5 May 2006. In the year April 2005 to March 2006 a total of 1,497 new and replacement permanent building passes were issued for staff, contractors and consultants working in the London HQ buildings of its predecessor Department the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the Government's forecast is for the take-up rate of small business rate relief in each of the next three years. 
Mr. Woolas: On the basis of returns completed by local authorities before the start of the current financial year, an estimated £390 million is expected to be claimed in small business rate relief for 2005-06, the first year in which the scheme has been operating. Applications for small business rate relief may be made up to six months after the end of the financial year to which the application relates, or six months from notification of an alteration to a rateable value that makes the hereditament eligible for relief. The amount of small business rate relief estimated for 2006-07 is due to be announced shortly, although no forecast has yet been made for years beyond that.
Mr. Woolas: The Government have no plans to abolish the Standards Board for England. Our proposals for the future of the local government conduct regime, set out in our Discussion Paper of15 December 2005, are that the Standards Board should continue to play an important strategic role at the heart of the conduct regime.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many super output areas there are in England in the Index of Multiple Deprivation; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: There are 32,482 Lower Layer Super Output Areas (SOA) in England. Each SOA has an average population of 1,500 people. SOAs are generally smaller than wards (wards vary in size from 800 to
35,000 people) and have been designed to 10 to 20 years. These SOAs allow us to better identify where small pockets of deprivation exist in otherwise affluent areas and therefore permit us to better target our resources to areas with the greatest need.
Caroline Flint: It is for individual clinicians, in discussion with patients, to consider whether to prescribe Herceptin. Primary care trusts may need to consider whether to support this decision and supply the drug at NHS expense. We have made clear to primary care trusts that they should not rule out treatments on principle and that they should not refuse to fund Herceptin solely on the grounds of its cost.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how she defines exceptional circumstances with regard to the prescription of Herceptin to patients with early stage breast cancer; and whether she has issued guidelines to primary care trusts on the definition. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: My right. hon. Friend, The Secretary of State confirmed in issue 294 of the Chief Executive's bulletin that primary care trusts (PCTs) should not rule out treatments on principle but consider individual circumstances. How PCTs choose to consider individual circumstances is a matter for local determination. It would not be appropriate for Ministers to dictate, or prejudge, the factors that might properly be taken into account by a PCT in assessing each case, beyond advising against refusals solely on the grounds of cost. My right. hon. Friend has not, and has no plans to, issue further guidance in this matter.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The £8.5 million funding for the development of new services we announced in 2002 has secured significant improvements in the care ofpeople with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in England.
The CFS/ME Exemplar, Megans Journey, we published in 2004, embodies the commitment we made in the children and young peoples national service framework, to deliver better services for children and young people, which are tailored to meet their particular needs.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will prepare contingency plans for circumstances where primary care trusts reduce provision of services for myalgic (a) encephalomyelitis and (b) encephalopathy; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In January 2004, funding of£8.5 million was announced for specialist services for those living with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). This funding was specifically intended to cover the costs of setting-up services where none already existed.
The national service framework for long-term conditions (NSF) sets out a clear vision of how health and social care organisations can improve the quality, consistency and responsiveness of their services and help improve the lives of people with neurological conditions, including CFS/ME. National health service organisations are expected to demonstrate that they are making progress towards achieving the level of service quality described in the NSF.
We have no plans to introduce contingency plansfor the provision of CFS/ME services. It is the responsibility of local health bodies to meet the health and social care needs of their local population. The Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection may undertake performance reviews to assess progress on local implementation of the NSF.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Following consultation in 2005 the Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority gave its approval earlier this year to the North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to develop a strategic outline case for a new build hospital for west Cumbria.
16. Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on access to dental treatment for patients with severe learning difficulties in (a) Scarborough and Whitby and (b) England. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Dental care for patients with severe learning difficulties is usually provided by dentists working in the local salaried primary care services. I understand that Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale Primary Care Trust have made provision for this treatment through the salaried dental service covering North Yorkshire.
This includes an increase of over 33,000 (37 per cent.) doctors, an increase of over 85,000 qualified nurses (27 per cent.) and an increase of over 38,000 (40 per cent.) qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff.
Andy Burnham: As the Prime Minister told the hon. Member for West Chelmsford last week, the Department of Healths PFI review team visited the trust recently. Progress has generally been good. There are a number of commercial and contractual issues which the trust and its private sector partner now need to focus on and resolve so that the Department can look at the final fully costed proposals and their long term affordability. We expect this work to take approximately six months.
Caroline Flint: Female life expectancy increased from 79.8 years in 1997 to 80.9 years in 2003. We have not made a separate assessment on the impact of diet or alcohol on the life expectancy of women.
It is widely recognised that eating a healthy balanced diet can contribute to a number of positive health outcomes, and eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day could lead to an estimated reduction of up to 20 per cent. in overall deaths from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
We know that alcohol misuse is associated with between 15,000 and 22,000 deaths each year. In 2001 the number of women dying from illnesses directly attributable to alcohol was 2,170 compared with 3,800 male deaths. The Government published the alcohol harm reduction strategy in March 2004 in order to address alcohol related harm.
Caroline Flint: The 2005-06 month six forecast for Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority indicates an £80.7 million overspend. Achieving financial stability is one of the most challenging issues the national health service in Surrey and Sussex faces. To assist financial recovery, turnaround teams have been working with the SHA to help those trusts facing the greatest financial problems.
22. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the private finance initiative on progress in delivering the Pathway project for university hospitals of Leicester NHS trust. 
Andy Burnham: On 10 May, university hospitals of Leicester NHS trust issued a press release announcing revised proposals to their PFI scheme. We welcome these proposals which we understand fully reflect guidance published in January this year requiring all major PFI schemes to revisit their capital costs in the light of the current reforms to the NHS.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In 2004-05, support for child care was extended to national health service students in the form of the NHS bursary child care allowance. The Department of Health provided £7 million in 2004-05, and £17.8 million in 2005-06 to meet the full cost of applications.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place to monitor (a) the number of appeals against the implementation of Agenda for Change and (b) the time taken for these appeals to be resolved; how many appeals have (i) been heard and (ii) not yet been resolved, broken down by (A) major staff group and (B) NHS organisation; what proportion of resolved appeals was upheld; and how long on average it has taken for an appeal to be resolved. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 May 2006]: The continued monitoring of the number of reviews under agenda for change is being managed by the NHS Employers organisation and the outcomes are reported to the NHS Staff Council, which has representation from both the management and staff side perspectives. They are currently collecting data on the review position.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance to primary care trusts that cost should not be the factor that decides whether women with third and fourth stages of cancer should have access to the latest drugs, and that decisions should be based on recommendations of specialists and doctors. 
While it is down to individual clinicians, in discussion with a patient, to decide whether or not it is suitable to prescribe a specific drug, primary care trusts (PCTs) may also need to be involved to decide whether to support the clinicians decision and supply the drug at the national health services expense. PCTs need to take a range of factors into account, including local factors, when considering the funding of drugs and other treatments. It would not be appropriate to dictate, or prejudge, the factors that PCTs might properly take into account.
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